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Kilmarnock 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Kilmarnock 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Kilmarnock scorers: Smith 25, Willis 66
Aberdeen scorers: Rankin 65.

03/11/1923 | KO:


Aberdeen's Failure at Kilmarnock

Conditions at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, were far from favourable for good football. Heavy showers of rain and hail alternated, accompanied by a high and variable wind, and the ground was soft and treacherous. With the elements in their favour, Kilmarnock were the more aggressive in the first half, though the game was twenty-five minutes gone before Tyner scored the first goal from a lovely cross by Borland. The home team had several good chances to increase their lead, but their shooting, due to the wind, was erratic. In the second half Aberdeen began with greater determination, and their efforts to equalise met with success after twenty minutes, when Moir, taking advantage of a bad miss by Gibson, got clear away and passed to Rankine, who had no difficulty in beating Morton. A minute later, however, Willis, picking up a fine pass from Tyner, again put Kilmarnock in the ascendancy. Subsequent play was devoid of incident, except for the fact that a little temper crept into the game, and the referee, J. M. Dickson, had to caution players on both sides.

Source: The Scotsman, 5th November 1923

The fates were not at all kind to Aberdeen at Kilmarnock, where the home team inflicted defeat upon them by 2 goals to 1. It would be difficult to picture worse conditions than those under which the game was played. Following heavy rain, the pitch was sodden, and throughout the game the players had to contend with a fierce gale, and rain, hail, and sunshine alternated. Under the circumstances the attendance of 5000 spectators testified to the popularity the game, and reflected the recent successes of the Kilmarnock team. Play was not brilliant, indeed, it could not have been, but what was lacking in quality was compensated for in keenness and thrills. The game was one of the most exciting seen at Rugby Park this season, and nothing but praise can be given the players, and defenders especially, for the great fight put up under the conditions.


Aberdeen had to face gale and rain in the first half, and quickly discovered the severity of the handicap. They were immediately thrown on the defensive, and it was a common happening for players in rear to find the ball being blown back to them from their own clearances. Gray early had Blackwell's goal in danger, the ball passing narrowly over from a headed effort. By keeping the ball low Rankin and Smith sought to make ground on the Aberdeen left, but their raids were beaten back, and three flag kicks fell to Kilmarnock in quick succession. The Aberdeen rear divisions, however, presented a solid front. With 15 minutes gone, Rankin carried the ball along the left to centre accurately, and Miller beat Morton at close range only to have the goal disallowed for an alleged infringement of offside by Mutch. Following this, the Aberdeen goal was hotly besieged, and Blackwell and Forsyth did well to kick clear from the goal-line. At the end of 25 minutes Boreland broke away on the Kilmarnock left, and centred accurately for Smith to score with a fast shot from close range. After this, the Kilmarnock attack was particularly lively, and, while Blackwell was not really seriously tested, shots by Gray, Smith, and Lyner passed dangerously near to his charge. Towards the interval Aberdeen again took a turn of attacking, and Morton had clear from Grant. Miller, and Mutch, but the score had not been increased when half-time arrived.


With the gale in their favour, Aberdeen were early in grips with the home defence in the second half, and Morton was troubled to dispose of a hard drive by Miller. Later, Jackson, when dribbling through, was fouled just outside the penalty area, and there was a series of scrimmages in front of Morton before the ball was got away. In order to find relief, the Kilmarnock defence exploited the offside theory, and there were repeated stoppages for infringements of this law by the Aberdeen forwards. Miller got through to find the net with a hard drive, but was adjudged offside for the second time in the game. Smith and Moir each got over centres, which were cleared without difficulty, and once Rankin almost beat Morton with a low shot, the ball rebounding off the goalkeeper's face. After twenty minutes' play. Miller let Moir away from a pass in midfield, and the winger, after running on, centred accurately for Rankin to smash home the equaliser. In a minute Kilmarnock regained the lead, the ball swerving past Blackwell from a long dropping shot by Willis. This second reverse disconcerted Aberdeen for a time, but they regained their balance, and there were many exciting incidents in front of Morton. Off a shot by Smith, Morton practically pushed the ball to Mutch's feet, but he sent wide of the goal with the keeper lying on the ground. Subsequently the ball was seldom far from the home penalty area, and with the keenness of the exchanges, there was a tendency on the part players to lose their tempers, and more than once the referee had to intervene between disputants. In a hot attack on the home goal Aberdeen appealed for a penalty for "hands" against Ramsay, but this was turned down, and they lost their last chance of drawing level when, just before the end. Miller, from close in, sent the ball over the bar.
On the run of play Aberdeen were distinctly unfortunate to lose. They were splendidly served in defence by Hutton, Forsyth, and MacLachlan, and in attack by Rankin, Moir, and Smith. Best for Kilmarnock were Morton, Gibson, Hood, Ramsay, Smith, and Gray.

Source: Press & Journal, 6th November 1923

Kilmarnock Teamsheet
Morton; Hood, Gibson; Willis, Howat, Ramsay; Lyner, Smith, Gray, Killen, Borland
Attendance: 5,000
Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
Referee: J. M. Dickson, Glasgow